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Media Releases

Union to take Auckland bus dispute to the Auditor-General

Date of Release: 
Friday, March 11, 2016

Drivers at Howick & Eastern Buses are pledging to continue their fight for fair pay and conditions as the drivers’ union, FIRST Union, prepares to write to the Auditor-General asking her to investigate whether Auckland Transport puts appropriate controls on private companies using public money to provide bus services. 

Workers plan protest against wage gap at Invercargill Pak’n Save

Date of Release: 
Friday, March 4, 2016

Workers and supporters from the Invercargill community are taking to the protest line as the owner-operator of Pak’n Save Invercargill refuses to negotiate new pay rates for workers, nearly of all whom earn up to $2 less than their colleagues in North Island supermarkets.

“There’s no excuse for the wage gap between South Island Pak’n Save workers and North Island Pak’n Save workers,” says FIRST Union’s Invercargill-based organiser Ken Young.

Pakn’ Save Whakatane owner strikes again

Date of Release: 
Thursday, March 3, 2016

Protestors will be inflating a giant rat outside Pakn’ Save Whakatane today after owner-operator Andrew Soutar admitted to a union busting campaign in store.

“The owner of Pakn’ Save Whakatane has a history of treating staff poorly,” says FIRST Union Bay of Plenty organiser Kirstin Miller.

“But workers aren’t going to stand for it anymore.”

“FIRST Union made it an urgent priority to organise the store after it was revealed that the owner-operator was docking workers’ wages for problems that were no fault of their own.”    

Pan Pac workers commence health and safety strike after four workers hospitalised

Date of Release: 
Thursday, March 3, 2016

After ongoing health and safety breaches at Pan Pac Mill in Napier, workers from the lumber division have issued a health and safety strike notice effective from 10am today. 

“Our members are fed up with repeated health and safety issues with the company’s new TMT kiln,” says FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

Auckland bus strike escalates – drivers refuse to handle cash

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Over 100 FIRST Union members from Howick and Eastern Buses are recommencing strike action as the company makes repeated attempts to remove overtime and weekend rates for drivers, says FIRST Union Bus Organiser Rudd Hughes.

“From 4am tomorrow to 4am on Friday drivers from Howick and Eastern Buses will refuse to handle cash. Passengers with cash will see their fare money refused, but they can still travel to their destination.”

Auckland bus drivers win court case – NZ Bus ordered to pay $10,000

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

FIRST Union and the Tramways Union have secured a judgment in the Employment Relations Authority holding that NZ Bus, the Auckland bus company whose drivers took city-wide strike action in February, was in breach of its consultation obligations under the collective agreement with the two unions and in breach of its good faith obligations under the Employment Relations Act.

“Last year NZ Bus introduced new rosters without properly consulting with drivers and their unions,” says FIRST Union Transport and Logistics Secretary Karl Andersen.

Government botches chance to jumpstart the economy

Date of Release: 
Monday, February 29, 2016

While the government confirms the minimum wage will rise 50 cents to $15.25 an hour, a trade union representing low paid workers is criticising the “meagre” increase as a missed opportunity to assist the lowest paid workers and boost the economy at the same time.

“There’s still an enormous gap between the Living Wage, what working people and their families need to survive and thrive, and the minimum wage.  The new living wage figure is due to be released later today.”

Union drive a success in Invercargill

Date of Release: 
Monday, November 23, 2015

The retail workers’ union is thrilled with the success of its membership drive at Invercargill Pak’n Save as new members prepare to meet and develop their negotiation claims for the first time, says FIRST Union South Island organiser Ken Young. 

“We’ve always had lower union density in the South Island and that’s meant poorer pay and conditions for South Island workers compared with their North Island counterparts.”

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